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The cultural context in which children grow up has a powerful influence on the way they play. At a time of rapid change in post-industrial societies, childhood play is changing to reflect children's experiences. Adults need to understand that children have their own play culture, which might be different from that of the adults' own childhoods. Enlivened by the voices of young children engaged in contemporary play, this accessible book enables readers to re-evaluate the contribution of play in childhood. It explores the persistence of fundamental play themes alongside new variations on traditional themes, including: Competitions and games Games of chance and luck The world of make-believe 'Dizzy play' This book helps adults to be reflective and to encourage children's play by understanding and valuing their play culture. It is important reading for early years students and practitioners.